Alabama Whitewater Paddling--Huntsville area?

I may have to move to the Huntsville area this summer and am wondering if anyone can comment on the whitewater paddling in the area. From the initial research I have done it looks like there is a lot of whitewater throughout the entire state. I am primarily looking for Class III / II runs.

Like I said, it appears on the map that there are many, but I don’t know if they are dam release rivers or dependent on rain fall and just how reliable / finicky the runs are.

I probably am more of a sea kayaker and like surfing coastal surfing and inlets, etc., but the coast is several hours away. Although I have strayed away from whitewater in the last few years I still enjoy WW kayaking and canoeing and that may be the better thing to go after in this area if you are not looking to drive 6 hours.

Any feedback would be appreciated!



I would first check into the Mulberry Fork and the Locust Fork of the Warrior River. The Mulberry Fork is primarily Class II. The Locust Fork has some definite Class III at higher water levels. You can find directions and recommended levels at the americanwhitewater dot org website.

Town Creek and the Little River have some Class II-III sections but you would need to get some guidance from individuals who know those well as there are rapids and sections on those streams that are solid Class IV-V.

All of the above are rainfall dependent. You are a little less than 3 hours from the Hiwassee River in east Tennessee which is a dam release Class II. The Conasauga River is a little south of the Hiwassee along the border of Tennessee and Georgia and is a delightful Class II springtime run but it is also rainfall dependent and usually has a fairly short season. The Cartecay is a pretty good Class II-III run near Ellijay, Georgia is also about 3 hours away, also rainfall dependent.

There is also a section of North Chickamauga Creek north of Chattanooga near Soddy-Daisy, TN that might be suitable and is 2 -2 1/2 hrs away.

huntsville Kayak and canoe club

Drop a line when you want to kayak surf sea kayaks. Dauphin Island is about the closest for you. Not many who kayak surf in this region. Yesterday was fantastic and I was the only kayaker on the water and only one surfer about 1/4 mile down the beach where the surfers sometimes hang out.

These should set you in the direction you want.

Thanks so much! Very much appreciated!


Cool. Thanks. Very much appreciated. I took a look at Dauphin Island and that does look like it would be a great spot to surf. Definitely like ocean surfing. Where I live now in MD, the good surf days seem to be rare and those days that are good the beach is crowded with board surfers. I usually rely on the inlets when there is a strong ebb. We get some pretty standing waves. From looking at the map it appears there are some promising inlets down there too.